Editors' pick

The Fillmore

The Fillmore photo
8/24

Latin Rock Invasion

The Fillmore presents Anexo Social, Botta, Sakke, Lazaro, Red Torment, Machines, Kickoman, Year Zero, and the Audyssey.
'

Editorial Review

The 2,000-capacity club is a new major player in the local concert scene. It is the latest in a franchise inspired by the legendary San Francisco club founded by promoter Bill Graham in the 1960s, with venues in such cities as Denver, Miami and Charlotte. It bears many of those clubs' hallmarks -- elegant chandeliers, posters from Fillmore concerts across the country and a psychedelic mural that greets you at the entrance. But this is not a counterculture hot spot, instead one that caters to audiences of all ages and tastes. There will be everything from classic rock to electronic music, jam bands to R&B.

For local music fans, the geography of concertgoing has been fairly straightforward over the past decade: Go to the U Street area for the hottest names on the rock circuit and visit Northern Virginia for your twangier, folkier, countrier sounds. But the opening of the Fillmore Silver Spring shifts things considerably in the realm of local rock clubs.

The 2,000-capacity venue, which is owned and operated by concert giant Live Nation and sits across from AFI Silver Theatre, opened last night with a sold-out concert by R&B superstar Mary J. Blige. It’s now the largest club in the area and the first major live music spot in Montgomery County. And it sure is nice inside.

The Fillmore Silver Spring is the latest in a franchise inspired by the legendary San Francisco club founded by promoter Bill Graham in the 1960s, with venues in such cities as Denver, Miami and Charlotte. It bears many of those clubs’ hallmarks — elegant chandeliers, posters from Fillmore concerts across the country and a psychedelic mural that greets you at the entrance. But this is not a counterculture hot spot. Quite the opposite, in fact.

“We’ll have acts adults went to see when they were younger, and want them to be able to bring their family here,” says general manager Stephanie Steele. The Fillmore’s calendar contains healthy doses of classic rock (Cheap Trick, George Thorogood, Levon Helm), ’90s throwbacks (Primus, Bush, Moby) and jam bands (Trey Anastasio, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Yonder Mountain String Band).

There are plenty of neat details. Food, including sandwiches, sliders and sides, comes in Chinese food-style containers for eating while standing. Get a spot at the balcony railing and you’ll find drink holders. The club is Metro accessible, and there’s ample free parking within one block.

The venue is large but far from cavernous. The floor level is for fans who like to be close to the stage, a three-tiered balcony offers an array of vantage points and the sound system is designed to make each spot a sweet spot.

--David Malitz (Sept, 16, 2011)